If you happened to be watching Dana White’s Contender Series 55 last week, you saw Kill Cliff FC’s Nurullo Aliev change his life.
The Tajikistani lightweight scored a first round TKO on punches vs. Josh Wick (why does spellcheck keep changing it to John Wick?! That’s ain’t right) at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, leaving his unblemished record unblemished, at 8-0, and securing a contract to compete in the UFC.
The smiling 22-year-old made a lovable, brash impression at the post-fight presser, telling the media of his professional plans: “I smash you, lightweight division.”
The kid’s got confidence to burn: “I already said to Dana, give me right away. You can give me even top 15 if you wanted.”
To his credit, Nurullo is fighting not just for his own fame and fortune but also to do right by his Central Asia home country, which has been standing behind him throughout his career.
“For the past two days since I made weight, nobody was sleeping,” Aliev said, via MMAJunkie. “Starting from young people to old people. It’s 7 a.m. in the morning in our country; people are celebrating. I mean, it’s just crazy.”
He continued, “Of course, I do want to put my country on the map. I do want to make it famous and hopefully by signing in the UFC, it will open a lot of doors, because I do know that there is a lot of perspective fighters from our country.”
Nurullo finished off Wick, 12-7, in a quick turn of events that found Wick on the losing end of a furious ground-and-pound flurry (that may have gone on a few punches too long; you decide).